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Lorna Caspers Messerli, 92
by Report submitted · January 11th, 2018

Lorna Mary Caspers Messerli, 92, died on Thursday, January 4, 2018, at the Eastern Star Masonic Home in Boone, Iowa. Visitation was from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church, Marion. Funeral Service was at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at the church, conducted by Reverend Dr. Howard B. Chapman. Graveside Service took place at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Cedar Memorial Cemetery, Cedar Rapids. Services by Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Marion.

Lorna was born to Tobe and Anna (Fahrni) Caspers on August 31, 1925, on the family farm north of Monticello, Iowa. Lorna graduated from Monticello High School in 1943 and then attended Iowa State Teachers College to become a teacher. She and John H. Messerli married on December 20, 1944. Over the course of John's career in education, Lorna lived in Ventura, Newhall, Monticello, Faribault (MN), Waukesha (WI), Cedar Rapids and Marion. Lorna taught in a one-room country school, was employed in the Media Center at Grant Wood Area Education Agency, taught preschool in Faribault and worked as an off-site supervisor for Kirkwood Community College in Marion.

Lorna was a voracious reader and loved to travel. She enjoyed entertaining and was a gracious hostess. Lorna and John made several trips to Europe, including when John received Fullbright Fellowships. In 1996 Lorna and John discovered ancestral Messerli relatives in Switzerland and this connection gave Lorna much enjoyment. She and John traveled to Switzerland and subsequently hosted many Swiss relatives in the years following.

Lorna was a 50-year member of Chapter CS, PEO and an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Marion before moving to Boone in 2013. Family and faith were the cornerstones of Lorna's life. Her loving and gentle personality will be greatly missed.

Survivors include her three children, Douglas (Howard Fox), a writer and publisher in Los Angeles, CA, Dave (Jill), Marion, Iowa, and Patricia (Scott) Thieben, Boone, Iowa, an administrative consultant at the Iowa Department of Education; grandchildren, Jennifer (Ryan) Witte, Jill (Ross) Isley, Matthew (Jacqueline) Messerli, Peter (Ashley) Messerli, and Benjamin (Jessica) Messerli. Lorna was blessed with five great-grandchildren, Maggie and Savanna Witte, Eva and Daniel Messerli, and Taylor Messerli. Lorna is also survived by brothers Don Caspers of Cedar Rapids, Duane Caspers of Lisbon; sisters-in-law, Mary (Ben) Klaus of Fort Myers, Florida and Benita Messerli of Oskaloosa; and brother-in-law, Robert (Mary Lynn) Messerli of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lorna was preceded in death by her husband John in 2002, and siblings Paul and Edwin Caspers and Carol Zumbach.

Special thanks to the wonderful staff at the Eastern Star home for their loving care of Lorna. Memorials in Lorna's name may be directed to First Presbyterian Church, Marion; Eastern Star Home, Boone; or the Marion Independent School Foundation, Marion.

Please share a memory of Lorna at under obituaries.
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